February 2012 Archives

Time of death: circa 3:30 PM

He was a good cat.


Remember the bit in my last entry about "the important bit is that the cat is on the mend"? Turns out, not so much.

My girlfriend has two cats: one boy, one girl. She's had them for upwards of seven years, and they have been her stalwart companions in the midst of some really remarkably horrible circumstances.

Shortly after we started dating, which would make it sometime in August, the male cat was diagnosed with diabetes. Ever since then, she's been injecting him with insulin twice daily, which worked as intended. We had hoped that at some point he'd be in good enough shape that he could go down to one injection a day, making it possible for us to go out and do things at night again, but aside from that, things were good. Until a few weeks ago.

The chain of events that follows is somewhat speculative, but it seems to go something like this. The cat got a cold, which probably caused him to lose his appetite... which wasn't immediately apparent because the other cat picked up the slack. Unfortunately, he was still getting the usual amount of insulin, which sent him into a hypoglycemic shock, early on Saturday, January 21st. When my girlfriend hauled him to the vet (the moment they opened that morning), he was practically deadweight, and his temperature was too low to register on their thermometer.

The vet did get him going again with IV drips and whatnot, but they closed at 5 PM and wouldn't reopen till Monday... and he was going to need 'round the clock attention. So we took him to an animal hospital in the City. There followed a barrage of tests to rule out various other reasons he might have stopped eating, and the installation of a feeding tube, to make sure he got enough nutrition until he returned to his old self and went back to eating properly again.

There followed a couple weeks of general insanity, with my girlfriend taking him back to the vet every few days, feeding him through the tube every six hours, administering medications to treat the cold and nausea, checking his blood-sugar level, and trying to get him to consider eating food the old-fashioned way. And also soothing the other cat, who was both freaked out and attention-starved. (If she hadn't been laid off a couple weeks before, she never would have had the time to handle all that, and goodness knows what we would have done. Speaking of which... yeah. It's been a hell of a month.)

At this point last week, the first cat was finally starting to eat a bit, and we were hopeful that soon they'd be able to take the tube out, and he'd get back to normal, and that would be that. Along the way, my girlfriend had found an excellent feline diabetes message board, and had a new set of plans for how to deal with him going forward.

And then he developed a couple of new symptoms, and she found a growth in his nose...

It's not entirely clear when the malignant tumor entered the picture, but it's growing fast, and any heroic measures taken to try to fight it would probably succeed only in making his last days miserable.

The good news, such as it is, is that now we know what we're dealing with, and we're free to treat the symptoms without worrying about long-term side effects. So the cat is now breathing better, more active, eating more, and generally seeming to be in better shape than he's been since the start of all this. He's getting to take a victory lap, and friends and family are coming to see him one last time. (He has a large fan club. He's that kind of cat.) So there's that.

That said...

I have no idea how to finish this entry. Anything I could say falls short.


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This page is an archive of entries from February 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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